Making the Grade II: Corey Seager Pristine, a WrestleMania upstart, legends & Sheldon Cooper’s shirt

Corey-seager-2015-panini-usa-baseballLike many collectors, Buzz is a fan of grading and knows that there are many reasons that collectors choose to slab cards. Sometimes it’s to enhance the appeal and protect them when selling. Other times it’s to protect an investment for the long-term or to protect for sentimental reasons. Or, it might be just for fun or curiosity about a potential grade.

Here’s the second Grading Diary here on The Buzz …

The Card: 2015 Panini USA Baseball Stars & Stripes Longevity Sigs #25 Corey Seager (/85)
The Reason Graded: The leading candidate for this year’s National League Rookie of the Year award had plenty of cardboard before he first wore Dodger Blue due to his time in the Red, White and Blue of USA Baseball. This card isn’t his first in the USA uniform, but it came from a bargain-priced box of Panini America’s Stars & Stripes release last year. That affordable find combined with his big potential made this one that Buzz wanted slabbed.
The Grade: BGS 10 with 10 auto

 Grade: 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 Total
Population: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2

Reality Check: Just one .5 sub-grade from a perfect BGS Black card, this grade was a welcomed surprise in the submission. Only two copies of this card have been graded and the other is a BGS 9.5. Interestingly, the rarer (/25) Holofoil version of this one has been graded three times — none of them a 10.

Sheldon-Cooper-ShirtThe Card: 2012 Big Bang Theory Seasons 3-4 Wardrobe #M19 Sheldon Cooper’s Green Shirt
The Reason Graded: TV’s biggest comedy has produced some pricey autographed cards for its main cast members in Cryptozoic’s past releases, but Buzz can appreciate an affordable memorabilia card and picked this one up raw. Why? A Dr. Sheldon Cooper shirt just seemed like the best one to land first — the iconic one.
The Grade: BGS 9

 Grade: 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 Total
Population: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

Reality Check: This was the first copy of this card with a piece of shirt worn by Jim Parsons to make its way into a a BGS slab, but wasn’t the first from the set to get the honors. Nine other Big Bang memorabilia cards — all but one being of Kaley Cuoco’s Penny — have been graded. None have landed a BGS 10, while four have landed BGS 9.5s.

Sasha-Banks-2015-wwe-heritage-autoThe Card: 2015 Topps WWE Heritage Autographs #NNO Sasha Banks
The Reason Graded: WrestleMania is set for this Sunday and the WWE will likely pack more than 100,000 fans into AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, to watch the Super Bowl of wrestling. (Tony Romo won’t win this, either.) Banks is one of the WWE’s younger newcomers and the former NXT women’s champ will be competing for the WWE’s Divas title. She’ll likely win it, too, with the only question being whether her match against Charlotte and Becky Lynch ends up being the best match of the night. Buzz figured the timing is right for this one to join the ol’ graded collection.
The Grade: BGS 9 with 10 auto

 Grade: 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 Total
Population: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

Reality Check: Centering seems to be an issue on nearly every type of card in this product and the autographs are not alone. Its top-to-bottom centering is probably what got this one knocked down, but everything else about this card was boss (Banks fans get that line) and that’s not easy with the stock being as thin and perfectly retro as it is. This was her first certified autograph card and the first copy graded by BGS.

barry-sanders-1990-pro-set-ROYThe Card: 1990 Pro Set #1 Barry Sanders Rookie of the Year (in-pack version)
The Reason Graded: This submission was an admitted BGS 10 chase because it’s an iconic and memorable card from the past. It may not be that interesting to collectors of today, but Buzz pulled it from a pack within the last year and noticed how clean it was. Another plus? There are many past collectors who may have dabbled in cards during this era are revisiting the sets of their younger days — and this is one brand where wax can be found more easily than others. (Finding a perfect card? Not easy. Keep reading.)
The Grade: BGS 9

 Grade: 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 Total
Population: 1 2 3 3 5 6 12 22 41 18 0 117

Reality Check: For those of us who collected Pro Set back in those years, this release was probably the pinnacle from a company that improved on the 1989 release and ushered in a new wave of thought about inserts, chase cards and other marketing touches that are probably the norm by today’s standards. The stock is thin — and its color showcases flaws well — and the blades used to cut these cards were not always sharp, resulting in chipped cards being commonplace right out of packs. These cards are so sensitive that it’s quite possible to chip fibers off edges merely by sliding them into penny sleeves. The pop report shows all this as there’s not a single BGS 10 and only 18 cards graded better than this. This card, even as a BGS 9, is an amazing one — no matter how many millions were made and how little pocket change it commands when raw. Consider a BGS 10 of this one to be a 12 challenge on a scale of 1-10.

nolan-ryan-2012-panini-cooperstown-autographThe Card: 2012 Panini Cooperstown Signatures #HOF-RYA Nolan Ryan (/50)
The Reason Graded: Buzz pulled this card from a pack of what is also a bargain-priced box these days and decided it needed to go with his other key cards from the set that are already in slabs. Ryan isn’t a tough autograph, but this card is a tough pull as one of the rarest in the landmark first Hall of Fame product from Panini America.
The Grade: BGS 9.5 with 10 auto

 Grade: 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 Total
Population: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1

Reality Check: Ryan has more than one auto in this product with this one representing his time with the California Angels. It’s the first one graded, while his Texas Rangers version (/75) has been graded four times with a BGS 9.0 the best mark there. How many of these have been pulled and tucked away into collections? How many are still sitting in wax packs? Buzz has no idea, but this being the only one in a BGS slab — and a 9.5 at that — is a good feeling for this collector.

Follow Buzz on Twitter @BlowoutBuzz or send email to 

>> Click here to buy baseball cards on

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s